Batik with Boats

Batik is the most renowned textile art in Indonesia. The design is applied in the wax-resist method. Wax is painted on, and the fabric is then dyed, the dye adhering to the wax-free area. The wax is then removed with boiling water and the same process is repeated with  different colors. As the dyes seep through the thin cotton ground Batiks are always double sided.

Batik making is famous all over Indonesia with the best pieces originating in Java, where the tradition began. Javanese batiks are typically free from outside influence, due to their inland location. Batiks from more coastal regions employ a vast repertoire of designs derived from indigenous folklore and from the waves of colonial foreigners that has passed through the archipelago. This piece is likely from a coastal region and is Dutch influenced.

On this batik the field is decorated with organic shapes creating the effect of rippling water. Twelve large boats and sixteen smaller boats float in the water, and are surrounded by some small fish. Unlike most batiks we’ve seen with boats, this one doesn’t have a border or design on the edge or writing on the boats. The flags on the boats may be representative of the two-toned Indonesian flag.

Circa: 19th century

Origin: Indonesia

Material: Cotton

Condition: Very Good

Dimensions: 88" x 41.5"

Inventory number: TX5185



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